2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Orinda, CA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Orinda.
You'll learn about:
- Local & State Solar Incentives
- Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
- Ways to optimize your solar investment
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Orinda?
Property Tax Exclusion for Solar Energy Systems and Solar Plus Storage System
Western Riverside Council of Governments - Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Financing Program
Minimum financing: $5,000
The financing may not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the market value of the property, up to the first seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) of the property’s market value, and ten percent (10%) of the remaining value of the Property above seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) minus any PACE assessment on the property The total amount of any annual property taxes and assessments shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the property's fair market value, determined at the time program financing is approved.
Local Option - Municipal Energy Districts
Self-Generation Incentive Program
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.
Renewable Market Adjusting Tariff (ReMAT)
LADWP - Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Program
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met
California Solar Initiative - Solar Thermal Program
Single Family Residential Incentives:
Systems that displace natural gas: $29.85 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: Funding has been exhausted
Systems that displace natural gas: $20.19 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: $0.42 per estimated kWh displaced *** Note, funding has been exhausted in this category for SCE and PG&E
Solar Pool heating: $5.00 per estimated therm displaced
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are designed to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for those who install solar panels on their homes. Solar incentives might include upfront discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the state of California and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that normally counts as part of your taxable income. In most cases, a certain (small) threshold of energy production must be met before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically handled by your state government.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar panels. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before calculating tax credits.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panel system may qualify for both sales tax and property tax exemptions. Sales tax exemptions come into effect at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the value that solar panels add when you are calculating property taxes on your home.
- Net Metering: You can sign a net metering contract with your Orinda utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. Your utility company will then subtract this value from your utility bill each month.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. A federal incentive that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a specific percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost – for panels, equipment, labor and accessories – although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the claim amount.
Your local Orinda solar panel installation expert can provide you with more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now dubbed the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit bolsters the current credit, increasing it up to 30% for solar installations undertaken between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 2032. At this point, the credit percentage will decrease slightly each year until the program expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Orinda solar panel installer can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. Similar to federal incentives, these could include rebates, tax credits and more. Some incentives are ongoing, while others may only be available for a limited time. These incentives may be offered by the California government, or by your county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Orinda
Solar incentives may be offered by your local utility company, the federal government or the California government. The growing number of available solar incentives has facilitated the nationwide growth of solar energy use in the last 15 years. When you're ready to make the switch to solar energy, reaching out to your local Orinda solar panel installation expert is a great first step.
EcoWatch's Orinda, CA Solar Incentives FAQs
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